Hemato-Biochemical Indices of Crossbred Cows During Different Stages of Pregnancy
Manzoor R. Mir,
Zahoor A. Pampori,
Javeed I.A. Bhat,
Manzoor A. Kirmani
The effect of pregnancy on hematological and biochemical indices
of crossbred cows reared in Kashmir valley was studied. Twenty one crossbred
cows of Cattle Research Station Manasbal, Kashmir were used in the present
research. The cows were divided in three groups, seven in each group viz.,
early, mid and late pregnant stages. Average mean values of hemoglobin
(Hb), Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Total Erythrocyte Count (TEC), Total Leucocyte
Count (TLC), Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Mean Corpuscular Volume
(MCV), Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH), Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin
Concentration (MCHC), Differential Leucocyte Count (DLC), glucose, total
protein, albumin and globulin were determined during three stages of pregnancy.
All hematological profile differed significantly (p<0.05) within the
respective means except ESR, MCH and DLC. The average concentrations of
glucose and total protein differed significantly (p<0.05) amongst the
three stages of pregnancy while no effect on the average concentrations
of albumin and globulin was observed.
The importance of hemato-biochemical indices in animal husbandry
is well acknowledged. Metabolic disturbances, caused by inappropriate
feeding without manifestation of clinical symptoms are significant in
animal husbandry and may cause insufficiently developed breeding cattle
(Radostits et al., 2003). Therefore, determination of normal values
for hematological and blood biochemical values are important for the clinical
interpretation of laboratory data. These indices may vary depending on
factors such as sex, age, weather, stress, season and physical exercise
(Kaneko et al., 1999). Pregnancy is one of the physiological conditions
leading to remarkable and dramatic changes in hematological and biochemical
variables in all animal species. Preparturient dairy cows are at high
risk of metabolic and reproductive disorders and oxidative stress is considered
to be involved in these events (Turk et al., 2005). During pregnancy
the concentration of a number of blood constituents are significantly
altered in cattle, there is a rise in white blood cells and other biochemical
parameters are equally affected (Reid and Collins, 1980; Awodu et al.,
2002). Various reports (Mir et al., 1994; Patil et al.,
2000) have documented hematological and blood biochemical parameters in
domestic species in India. However, very less research has been done on
the hematological and blood biochemistry of the cattle reared in Kashmir.
The present study is aimed at investigating the effect of pregnancy on
different hematological and biochemical parameters of crossbred cows reared
in the temperate agro-climatic conditions of Kashmir valley.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Twenty one apparently healthy pregnant crossbred cows from the Cattle
Research Station, Mansbal SKUAST-K, were used for the present study during
September, 2006 to March, 2007. The cows were divided into three groups,
seven in each during early (up to three months), mid (up to six months)
and late (up to nine months) stages of pregnancy. All the cows under investigation
were housed under standard managemental conditions in sheds with an open
paddock. The hay and water was supplied ad libitum and fed at the
rate of 1.50 kg of concentrate mixture as maintenance ration, with an
additional 0.50 kg of concentrate mixture as pregnancy allowance. The
average maximum and minimum temperatures recorded were +1 and -7°C,
respectively during the experimental period.
Blood samples (10-15 mL) were collected at weekly interval via jugular
veinipuncture from all cows in separate vials containing EDTA as an anticoagulant
(1 mg mL-1 of blood) between 10 am to 1 pm for the duration
of one month. Each blood sample was divided into two fractions, one for
hematology analysis and another for biochemical examination and clear
plasma was stored at -20°C until used for biochemical analysis. For
the determination of hematological indices viz., Hb, PVC, TEC, TLC, ESR,
MCV, MCH, MCHC and DLC standard methods as described by Feldman et
al. (2000) were used. Glucose was estimated by spectrophotometric
method of Bergmayer (1974). Biuret method as described by Henry et
al. (1974) was employed for the estimation of total protein. Albumin
in the plasma samples was estimated by BCG method (Dumas et al.,
1971) and globulin was determined by the difference. The results were
statistically analyzed as per the method of Snedecor and Cochran (1980).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
All hematological indices associated with RBC differed significantly
(p<0.05) within the respective means except ESR and MCH where no specific
trend was observed (Table 1). Mean Hb values were 09.21±0.30,
10.01±0.22 and 09.21±0.28 g dL-1, respectively,
in early, mid and late stages of pregnancy. The values recorded during
early and late stages differed significantly (p<0.05) with mid stage
of pregnancy. The physiological mean values for Hb reported earlier in
the literature ranged between 8.0-15.0 g dL-1 (Feldman et
al., 2000) which corresponded to lower side of the range reported
in this study. The results obtained in the present study are comparable
with the reports of several other researchers (Olotu et al., 1998;
Bozdogan and Baysal, 2003). The decrease in the content of Hb during pregnancy
could be due to the dilution of blood which occurs as a consequence of
increase of plasma volume (Singh et al., 1991). Similar logic may
apply in the present study, where a slight decrease of Hb was observed
as pregnancy advanced. PCV values recorded in the present study were 29.04±0.89%,
31.82±1.06% and 28.50±1.06% for early, mid and late stages
of pregnancy, respectively. The values recorded in early and late stages
of pregnancy were comparable however, both differed significantly (p<0.05)
with the mean values recorded in the mid stage of pregnancy and the results
corresponded to the findings of Opara et al. (2006). However, the
findings of some earlier workers indicated a rise in PCV as the pregnancy
advanced and the possible explanation for this phenomenon could be an
increase in RBC volume causing increased volume of water during advanced
pregnancy (Kataria et al., 2002). In a comparison with non pregnant
heifers, PCV values were found highest in pregnant heifers (Kumar and
Pachauri, 2000) but in sheep hematological parameters during pregnancy
and after parturition revealed no significant decreases for PCV (Balikci
and Yildiz, 2005). The ESR values reported in the present study were 12.11±0.98
mm/24 h, 13.11±1.06 mm/24 h and 12.46±0.95 mm/24 h, respectively
during the three stages of the pregnancy. No specific trend of ESR was
observed in the present study; however, the mean ESR values observed in
the present study were
||Average (±SE) hematological and biochemical indices
of crossbred cows during the three stages of pregnancy
|Means within rows with different superscripts differ
very high when compared to the non-pregnant cows where ESR ranged between
2-6 mm/24 h (Pampori, 2003). ESR normally begins to increase after the
third month of the pregnancy and significant increases of ESR are witnessed
as pregnancy advances (Osoagbaka et al., 2000). In the present
findings, TEC were 5.09x106±0.16, 6.33x106±0.10
and 5.22x106±0.21, respectively during the different
stages of the pregnancy. The values for TEC were low (p<0.05) during
early and late pregnancy in comparison to mid pregnant stage where higher
values were recorded. The results observed in the present study are in
accordance with the findings of Zvorc et al. (2006) and Kataria
et al. (2002). The MCV values in the Table 1 clearly
indicate that the means reported in mid pregnancy were significantly lower
when compared with the values reported in early and late pregnancy. The
mean MCH values in the present study did not differ significantly (p<0.05)
and were much higher than the values reported in cattle. In contrast to
MCH, the mean values of MCHC observed in the present study indicated that
the values in mid stage differed significantly (p<0.05) with the values
observed in early and late stage of pregnancy. Higher MCV in the present
study signifies the increase in the size of RBC advanced pregnancy. These
results are in agreement with Opara et al. (2006) and Balikci and
Yildiz (2005). MCH and MCHC also were increased at the end of the pregnancy
in the present study and the results in this study corroborate the findings
of Balikci and Yildiz (2005). Furthermore, mean values of TLC and DLC
as presented in the Table 1 show an increase in the mid pregnancy with
a slight decrease towards the end of pregnancy. The values found in mid
pregnancy differed significantly with the mean values observed in late
stage of pregnancy whereas mean values of early and mid pregnancy showed
a non significant increasing trend. The values of the present study conveniently
corresponded to the findings of the Kinkon and Zadnik (1997). Kornmatitsuk
et al. (2004) reported constant number of leukocytes and neutrophils
up to two weeks before parturition in dairy Holstein cows with slight
decrease in lymphocytes and eosinophils during last week of pregnancy
and after parturition. However, Aikhuomobhogbe and Orheruata (2006) reported
a non significant change in neutrophiles, lymphocytes monocytes and eosinophilles.
Further, neutrophiles in the present study were slightly higher than the
reported values in the literature (Feldman et al., 2000). The mean
% of neutrophiles did not differ significantly (p<0.05) but were slightly
higher and followed same pattern as that of the total leucocytic count.
The increase in leucocyte count during pregnancy has been attributed to
a number of reasons e.g., estrogen secretion, raised plasma cortisol and
increased parity during the pregnancy (Guidry et al., 1976; Awodu
et al., 2002). Decreased values in lymphocytes were observed in
the present study when compared to the earlier published reports (Feldman
et al., 2000) which may be attributed to increased physiological
stress during pregnancy leading to the lymphopenia (Awodu et al.,
2002). However, these findings differed with the report of Bozdogan and
Baysal (2003) who observed a significant increase in lymphocytes during
pregnancy in Tuj sheep. Mean values for eosinophils, basophils and monocytes
in the present study are in agreement with Awodu et al. (2002)
who found no variation in basophils and monocytes during pregnancy. In
general all hematological parameters during pregnancy and after parturition
revealed no significant (p<0.05) decreases for lymphocyte, eosinophils
and basophils in sheep (Balikci and Yildiz, 2005), in dolphins (Juli et
al., 2006) and the findings are in agreement with the present results.
The level of plasma glucose was significantly (p<0.05) lower during
late and mid pregnancy when compared with early pregnancy (Table
1). Glucose levels found in crossbred cattle in this study ranged
between 48.23±2.08 to 54.00±1.70 mg dL-1 which
are close to the values observed by Singh et al. (2002) in two
regimes of feeding. Bülent et al. (2006) reported exponent
decrease in serum glucose concentration as the parturition approached
in dairy cattle and the significant decrease in blood glucose level during
late pregnancy signifies rapid utilization of glucose towards the fag
end of the pregnancy. Cows generally go ketoic during third trimester
(Mandali et al., 2002) and insufficient feed intake during the
winter months may also result in the lower glucose levels in pregnant
cows. Several workers have reported blood glucose level in cattle averaging
43.24±0.56 mg dL-1 (Prudhvi Reddy et al., 2003),
49.05±3.97 and 41.96±2.37 mg dL-1 (Nath et
al., 2004), respectively. Low temperature leads to the release of
the enzyme phosphorylase in the biosystem due to the activation of adrenaline
hormone (Guyton and Hall, 2006). Herdt (2000) claims that a change in
glucose concentration is associated with possibly reflecting hormonal
changes at calving that promote gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. A
significant (p<0.05) increase in total plasma protein content was observed
during mid and late pregnancy when compared to the values observed in
early pregnancy. The albumin showed a non-significant increase from early
to late pregnancy. The plasma globulin levels were numerically higher
in the mid pregnancy as compared to early and late stages of pregnancy.
Consistently high level of total protein has been seen by Yadav et
al. (2006) in cyclic buffaloes as also observed in the present study
hence reinforcing the fact that high levels of plasma protein in the late
trimester of pregnancy are needed for the optimum secretion of gonadotropin
release factors and number of other hormones needed in the culmination
of the pregnancy. Consistent with our finding, increasing pattern of serum
total protein was also found in non-lactating yaks by Pouroucholtamane
et al. (2005) and this phenomenon could be attributed to the non-lactating
state of the cows in late trimester of the pregnancy. The albumin levels
observed in the present study increased from early to late gestation.
The levels are well within the range as has been observed by a number
of workers (Singh et al., 2002; Purohit et al., 2003). The
globulin fraction was higher during early and mid gestation in the present
study, however, it stabilized to the normal during late gestation. Decreased
albumin and increased globulin in early and mid gestation depicted some
inexplicable infection especially during winter months, however, in the
late trimester of pregnancy the infection might have been controlled because
of high estrogen levels which has indirect effect in controlling of infection
due to increased vascularity (Patteson et al., 1993; Guyton and
Hall, 2006). Changes in blood concentrations of glucose, proteins or enzymes
may all reflect alterations in liver function associated with fat accumulation
during pregnancy (Reid and Robert, 1982).
Based upon the evaluation of hematological and biochemical parameters,
it may be possible to detect the early aberrations in metabolism and thereby
appropriate corrections could be made to overcome the metabolic disturbances
during the pregnancy.
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